want to convert to reform judaism Watch

csmlady
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I want to convert to reform Judaism, and I have for about a year now, but unfortunately the synagogues near me are orthodox, but I do not want to be an orthodox Jew. I'm fairly sure that my mother's side of the family (Arabs) might of had some Mizrahi Jews. does anyone know how I can convert to judaism if I have no reform synagogues/rabbis near me? I want to be able to write it down on official documents and stuff so I'm pretty sure I need to be converted with the Mikvah bath and stuff? I'm a female and have been baptized Catholic if it matters, but never grew up in a religious household. I just feel that reform Judaism fits better with me as it's more modern and accepting and better for our times, and I believe alot of the stuff that they believe too so I just think it would be nice to finally have a religion that I fit into and meet people like me but I'm unsure of what to do, any reform Jews here?
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keep_drowning
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Contacting the Rabbi of the closest reform synagogue to you may be an idea?

https://www.reformjudaism.org.uk/ref...ance-learning/ (Just the link of the Reform Judaism website - you've probably seen it, but added just in case)

Have you visited any synagogue services in the past?
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Racoon
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(Original post by csmlady)
I want to convert to reform Judaism, and I have for about a year now, but unfortunately the synagogues near me are orthodox, but I do not want to be an orthodox Jew. I'm fairly sure that my mother's side of the family (Arabs) might of had some Mizrahi Jews. does anyone know how I can convert to judaism if I have no reform synagogues/rabbis near me? I want to be able to write it down on official documents and stuff so I'm pretty sure I need to be converted with the Mikvah bath and stuff? I'm a female and have been baptized Catholic if it matters, but never grew up in a religious household. I just feel that reform Judaism fits better with me as it's more modern and accepting and better for our times, and I believe alot of the stuff that they believe too so I just think it would be nice to finally have a religion that I fit into and meet people like me but I'm unsure of what to do, any reform Jews here?
How about exploring the life of Christ first. There are many messianic Jews who believe Jesus was the Messiah. Have you read the New Testament or done any research into the life of Christ?
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csmlady
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(Original post by Racoon)
How about exploring the life of Christ first. There are many messianic Jews who believe Jesus was the Messiah. Have you read the New Testament or done any research into the life of Christ?
oh yeah I like Jesus, he sounds interesting.
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lewis6969
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do you get to go to israel if you become a jew? or is it for ethnically jewish people only
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csmlady
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(Original post by lewis6969)
do you get to go to israel if you become a jew? or is it for ethnically jewish people only
only if you are born a Jew or converted by Orthodox I think.
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Racoon
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(Original post by csmlady)
oh yeah I like Jesus, he sounds interesting.
He's a cool guy. His life's work was about teaching us about the kingdom of heaven. He never married, he never killed anyone, he was tempted but never gave in. He cared for the outcasts in society and honoured women and their choices. He healed the sick and cared for everyone, even healing a roman centurions daughter.
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csmlady
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(Original post by Racoon)
He's a cool guy. His life's work was about teaching us about the kingdom of heaven. He never married, he never killed anyone, he was tempted but never gave in. He cared for the outcasts in society and honoured women and their choices. He healed the sick and cared for everyone, even healing a roman centurions daughter.
yeah, and that's much more believable to me then god is, actually... I really like that! are you a messianic jew?
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Racoon
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(Original post by csmlady)
yeah, and that's much more believable to me then god is, actually... I really like that! are you a messianic jew?
No I'm a born again Christian but I do have Jewish roots.
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csmlady
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(Original post by Racoon)
No I'm a born again Christian but I do have Jewish roots.
ooh that's really nice
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yoch_wint
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if you want to convert, to any movement, you need to live near a synagogue. you can't convert if you don't take part in Jewish life. move if you want to convert. if you haven't done very much research (I'm not being mean btw), you shouldnt convert to an egalitarian movement just because you don't want to keep the mitzvot. you have to have a genuine belief in Jewish values and want to be a part of your community. it is different in each synagogue so visit all different types, even orthodox.

edit: reform in the UK isn't like American reform. and I'm not trying to scare you I'm just being honest. it's not easy to be Jewish.
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ArdenBoshier
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For the record, "Messianic Judaism" is not considered to be actually Jewish by any major branch of Judaism. It's a movement that grew our of Christianity rather than of Judaism, and is considered rather insidious by many Jewish people.

As yoch_wint says, you do really need to live close to a synagogue in order to convert: being Jewish is about practice more than anything, and that practice is done as part of a community. Any kind of conversion also must happen with the support and guidance of a rabbi, who will be attached to a synagogue. Conversion usually takes between one and three years: at least one because you need to get the feel of a Jewish year, the rhythmn of the festivals etc. It's only after you have been under the guidance of a rabbi for this time, been assessed by a beit din (a groupd of three rabbis, usually including your sponsoring rabbi, who see if you're ready to become Jewish), and have come out of the mikveh that you become Jewish legally speaking--ie that you could identify as Jewish on forms and things. In order to make aliyah (return to Israel as a Jewish person), the beit din would have to be Orthodox.

Reform/Conservative/Liberal/Orthodox differ primarily on their answers to the question: what is Torah? And then differences in mitzvot follow from there--to liberal branches, torah is usually seen as a continually developing human creation inspired by G?d, whereas for Orthodox branches it's seen as G?d's Law as given to Moses, and therefore their approaches to halakha are different. This does not mean that liberal Jewish people are inherently more lax than orthodox ones, nor that orthodox judaism is inherently less suited for our time. It's about what connects best with you and your understanding of torah (which you may well not know much about yet!), and the communities you are most comfortable with.

If you don't live near a synagogue now, you can focus on learning about Judaism--there are a lot of resources out there, like myjewishlearning, chabad, jewishfaq, as well as holy texts being available for free with English translations on Sefaria (also an app!). You could look into learning Hebrew, even. There are also probably PDFs to be found of books like Anita Diamant's Choosing a Jewish Life, which is about her conversion (which is liberal--either Reform or Conservative, I'm not sure?), and you could check out books about jewish topics at bookshops near you or on amazon.

(Also, you could look into Jewish opinions on Jesus (Joshua), if you like. He obviously isn't considered the Messiah by Jewish people, and he isn't always considered good--much of what he does feels quite disrespectful (causing destruction when he knocks over the tables of the money-lenders, for example). Opinions are mixed! You might find that interesting as someone raised catholic, at least culturally speaking, if not religiously so. And Jesus is obviously a complicated subject for Jewish people considering the long history of Christian antisemitism.)
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CyproFenol
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HAHAHA LOL u want to invent a new religion????? XD
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yoch_wint
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(Original post by ArdenBoshier)
For the record, "Messianic Judaism" is not considered to be actually Jewish by any major branch of Judaism. It's a movement that grew our of Christianity rather than of Judaism, and is considered rather insidious by many Jewish people.

As yoch_wint says, you do really need to live close to a synagogue in order to convert: being Jewish is about practice more than anything, and that practice is done as part of a community. Any kind of conversion also must happen with the support and guidance of a rabbi, who will be attached to a synagogue. Conversion usually takes between one and three years: at least one because you need to get the feel of a Jewish year, the rhythmn of the festivals etc. It's only after you have been under the guidance of a rabbi for this time, been assessed by a beit din (a groupd of three rabbis, usually including your sponsoring rabbi, who see if you're ready to become Jewish), and have come out of the mikveh that you become Jewish legally speaking--ie that you could identify as Jewish on forms and things. In order to make aliyah (return to Israel as a Jewish person), the beit din would have to be Orthodox.

Reform/Conservative/Liberal/Orthodox differ primarily on their answers to the question: what is Torah? And then differences in mitzvot follow from there--to liberal branches, torah is usually seen as a continually developing human creation inspired by G?d, whereas for Orthodox branches it's seen as G?d's Law as given to Moses, and therefore their approaches to halakha are different. This does not mean that liberal Jewish people are inherently more lax than orthodox ones, nor that orthodox judaism is inherently less suited for our time. It's about what connects best with you and your understanding of torah (which you may well not know much about yet!), and the communities you are most comfortable with.

If you don't live near a synagogue now, you can focus on learning about Judaism--there are a lot of resources out there, like myjewishlearning, chabad, jewishfaq, as well as holy texts being available for free with English translations on Sefaria (also an app!). You could look into learning Hebrew, even. There are also probably PDFs to be found of books like Anita Diamant's Choosing a Jewish Life, which is about her conversion (which is liberal--either Reform or Conservative, I'm not sure?), and you could check out books about jewish topics at bookshops near you or on amazon.

(Also, you could look into Jewish opinions on Jesus (Joshua), if you like. He obviously isn't considered the Messiah by Jewish people, and he isn't always considered good--much of what he does feels quite disrespectful (causing destruction when he knocks over the tables of the money-lenders, for example). Opinions are mixed! You might find that interesting as someone raised catholic, at least culturally speaking, if not religiously so. And Jesus is obviously a complicated subject for Jewish people considering the long history of Christian antisemitism.)
wow, this was a lot better than my response! (esp regarding messianics) one thing I think might be useful to add is about status and halakha. It's complicated but you can make Aliyah if you're from an egalitarian movement (aka not orthodox) but you won't be recognised as Jewish by the government in Israel. this can cause a lot of problems with certain things like marriage and death. however, don't let this be a factor in converting and choose orthodox because you want to be viewed as Jewish. if someone thought you were converting just for that and you didn't intend to uphold the mitzvot you can create problems for yourself.

You won't even come into contact with many orthodox people (mostly) if you don't involve yourself in an orthodox community. Reform (and liberal, masorti etc) are all great and I'm sure you'd be made to feel very welcome
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ArdenBoshier
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(Original post by yoch_wint)
wow, this was a lot better than my response! (esp regarding messianics) one thing I think might be useful to add is about status and halakha. It's complicated but you can make Aliyah if you're from an egalitarian movement (aka not orthodox) but you won't be recognised as Jewish by the government in Israel. this can cause a lot of problems with certain things like marriage and death. however, don't let this be a factor in converting and choose orthodox because you want to be viewed as Jewish. if someone thought you were converting just for that and you didn't intend to uphold the mitzvot you can create problems for yourself.

You won't even come into contact with many orthodox people (mostly) if you don't involve yourself in an orthodox community. Reform (and liberal, masorti etc) are all great and I'm sure you'd be made to feel very welcome
Oh, this is interesting! I wasn't aware of non-Orthodox Aliyah, though I had heard of things like Ethiopian Jewish people being able to make Aliyah but having to undergo Orthodox conversion once you get there, which must be to do with what you're talking about.


At the end of the day, a convert is converting within a community, becoming part of a people, so that community's opinion is the one that matters most (as long as it's actually Jewish).
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